While writing, I've been keeping in mind the great advice and wisdom of James Scott Bell in Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises For Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers From Start to Finish (buy it here). The great advice and wisdom I'll leave for another post.
Bell has a theory that there are two types of writers in the world. NOPs and OPs. A NOP is a "no outline" person. While a OP is an outline person. NOPs will sit down at their computer and bust out a novel. Only later, after they've written a mess of pages, will they sort out what they have, and begin crafting a novel off of that. An OP will come up with the plot, characters, and scenes before writing. Methods include treatments, note cards, diagrams, etc.
Personally, the idea of figuring out every nuance of a novel before writing it, sounds more tedious than playing the "Why?" game with a four year old. I am a NOP. I always have been a NOP. In college, writing papers for me included the same skills I'm applying to my novel. Sit down, bust out a first draft. If it was a 14 page paper, I'd write a good 8 pages, print them out, and go over them with a pencil, writing new lines and ideas in between the double spaced lines. There was lots of crossing out and stars and corrections involved. After doing that same process a good twenty times (and as many trees killed), I'd have a respectable looking 14 page essay.
|NaNo crushing a hapless NOP|
|The OP has lost his way|
So tell me, what are you? NOP? OP? NOP with a little OP? OP with a little NOP? Sail boat or yacht or dingy or cruise ship?